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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 1 July 2010) . . Page.. 3138 ..


MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Order, members! You seem to be entertaining yourselves. Please allow Mr Seselja to entertain the rest of us.

MR SESELJA: Thank you, Mr Assistant Speaker. They have a different concept. It says:

A man has gotta have some Monergy to go shopping at the mall with a woman … A Monergy man is what we take home to meet our parents … Don’t even look my way if you ain’t a Monergy man!

I do not actually understand. It is a different concept, but it is the same word.

Mrs Dunne: You’re not down with youth culture, then?

MR SESELJA: I am not down with the youth culture, it would seem. I am not sure if this was an original proposal that was put to the government, and the government accepted it, or whether it is something different. But “monergy man” has a slightly different meaning. It has a different meaning if you go to urbandictionary.com. It is an interesting concept anyway.

Spending $120,000 to tell people that they should save energy I think is over the odds, Mr Assistant Speaker. People are generally aware that energy does cost money and that if they switch off the lights and take the usual prudent measures in their home they will save money. People are well aware that they get a big electricity bill or a gas bill every quarter. They are also aware that there are all sorts of appliances that are more energy efficient. These are good things, but you do need to question whether we need to spend $120,000 in order to tell us that.

Going to the theme that we have seen before in terms of not giving us details of the spending, I think the minister’s answers to questions on notice appear to contradict each other. In question taken on notice 260, the minister answers that the department will reduce its consultancy budget—its quite substantial consultancy budget, I must say—by $108,000 in 2010-11. I think that is about a $2.8 million consultancy budget, by the way, so there is a question there as to whether that is necessary, whether there is not more in-house expertise that could be dealing with that. We are told they are going to reduce it by $108,000 in 2010-11.

In question taken on notice 261, the minister answers that the department will reduce its travel budget by $10,000 in 2010-11. I am glad to see that. However, in QoN 379, the minister is unable to provide the estimates expenditure for consultancies and travel fees for his department in 2010-11 as “internal budgets have yet to be completed”. That does not add up. How can he say that consultancies will drop by $108,000 and the travel budget will drop by $10,000 when internal budgets have not been completed? Those answers are contradictory.

The minister needs to clarify this. They cannot both be true. You cannot say, “We can give you a precise answer as to how much we are going to cut out of our consultancy budget this year and we can give you a precise answer as to how much we are going to cut out of our travel budget, but we have not actually done our internal budgets.”


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